3Delight Archives

RenderMan compliant biased render engine that’s integrated into DAZ Studio.

How to fix “The interface of shader xxx is invalid” in DAZ Studio

Sometimes, the 3Delight render engine in DAZ Studio can throw a hissy-fit and complain with the following error message: 3Delight message #45 (Severity 2): S2069: the interface of shader ‘/Users/versluis/Library/Application Support/DAZ 3D/Studio4/temp/shaders/brickyard/{407f8e5c-3a9b-4708-b5e5-799ff1fe7c1d}/shader_Surface.sdl’ is invalid 3Delight message #45 (Severity 2): S2051: cannot load shader ‘brickyard/{407f8e5c-3a9b-4708-b5e5-799ff1fe7c1d}/shader_Surface’, will use ‘defaultsurface’ This problem occurs frequently on complex shaders, such …

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How to reduce the Depth-Of-Field frost effect in DAZ Studio

Something that’s always been bugging me is the “frost effect” that DAZ Studio introduces on renders with depth of field. The above picture is a perfect example of it. Where does it come from, and how can we avoid it? I’ve mentioned two approaches in an earlier article that discusses how to setup depth of …

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How to render DAZ Studio RIB Files on another computer

I have previously described how to render DAZ Studio Scenes without DAZ Studio. This is done by rendering to a RIB File (RenderMan Interface Bytestream), using the standalone 3Delight Studio to create the final render. The procedure frees DAZ Studio up and allows you to work on your next scene without having to wait for the render to finish.

I generally use Xender for PC for my file transfer needs, but I’ve been looking for ways to transfer such RIB files to another computer which does not have the content or even DAZ Studio installed, and I think I’ve found another one!

When used as described in my previous article, DAZ Studio creates a RIB file that references temporary files as well files on the local system. Neither of those can be used on a different computer because they most certainly don’t exist. This means your render will likely be missing a few textures.

There’s a handy command line tool that will collate all those files needed to render the image. The drawback is that – depending on the size of your scene – this may result in a rather large file (1GB or more). However the approach is great if you’d like to render that super long animation for several weeks without blocking your regular office computer.

Here’s how to do it.

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How to batch render RIB Files on your Mac

If you’ve read my previous article about rendering DAZ Studio files without DAZ Studio, you already know that I’m big fan of batch rendering my images. For this I mainly use the excellent Batch Render Script by Draagonstorm. It allows me to queue up several scenes, and while I do something else, DAZ Studio will load up one after the other and render like a champ.

Windows users have a special treat that can have the same script create a .bat file, allowing the 3Delight standalone renderer to work on a batch of files without using DAZ Studio. Mac users don’t have such luxuries, and will still “block” DAZ Studio until all renders in the batch have finished.

I have good news: for the hackers among us, we can create such a batch queue on the Mac manually, using a simple Shell Script. In this article I’ll show you how to do it. Some Mac/Linux command line experience is necessary to follow along.

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How to create a 3Delight Shadow Catcher in DAZ Studio

Cat-CompleteSometimes we need to render images that include shadows without objects to cast them on. In multi-pass rendering for example, where we may have a background and would like to render a figure separately, the figure’s shadows can only be cast if the background is rendered at the same time.

It’s easy to do by creating a plane primitive, have our character walk on that, and turn it transparent. However, if an object is transparent, then no shadows are cast upon it. So how do we solve this conniving conundrum?

With DAZ Studio’s Shadow Catcher function of course! Shadow Catcher is a node (or brick) in Shader Mixer, which will let us do just that: render shadows without the plane underneath it. Let’s see how we can set this up.

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How to speed up rendering times (or improve quality) with 3Delight in DAZ Studio

It’s easy to reduce rendering times in DAZ Studio with 3Delight at the expense of quality. Likewise, it’s possible to greatly improve the rendering quality with the same setting: the secret lies in the Shading Rate Slider.

On the Render Tab, under Render Settings, take a look at a lone slider called Shading Rate. The default is 1 and it produces a good compromise between speed and quality.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 17.56.00

The higher the Shading Rate is set, the lower the quality of the image is – but at the same time, render times speed up. This is great to get an impression of the overall scene without having to wait ages.

Conversely, the lower the Shading Rate is set, the higher the render quality is as a result – which increases render times, but gives a very nice quality boost. It’s easy to overlook this setting!

Here are some example renders. Click on the images to see the full resolution at 1920×1080. No postwork was applied. The scene is Stonemason’s Tin Pan Alley with the Genesis Troll.

Shading Rate 1 (Default) – Render Time: 1 minute

Troll-SR1-1minThe default setting gives a good compromise between quality and speed. I always wondered how to make such a render look better.

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How to render with Depth of Field in DAZ Studio

Depth of Field is a photographic term that describes how much of a scene is in focus. In the 3D world this has to be calculated and switched on – because otherwise everything in a rendered scene is in focus. A real world photographic lens doesn’t work that way: take a portrait with a long lens, …

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Comparison: 3Delight vs NVIDIA Iray for Animations

For this animation I’ve rendered the same scene twice in DAZ Studio 4.8: once with 3Delight and once with the new NVIDIA Iray engine. It’s interesting to compare the results in an animation rather than a still image due to the different challenges involved.

One thing is that the subject is illuminated differently depending on how far away it is from the camera. Another is that it’s difficult to get matching end results when mixing faster and slower hardware: Iray can take a long time to finish a render if no GPU acceleration is around.

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How to render DAZ Studio scenes without DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio has one drastic drawback: while you’re rendering a scene you can’t use the app until it’s finished rendering. In fact, DAZ Studio makes use of every available CPU cycle, turning even the fastest computer into something you can’t even check your emails with while you wait for that render to finish.

That’s great for efficiency – but it also sucks because you need a second computer to keep working with, or alternatively use a second computer for rendering while you work with your main machine. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do something akin to Poser’s background rendering, something that lets you setup the next scene in DAZ Studio while it’s rendering at the same time?

I have good news: you can – thanks to something called RIB files. I didn’t know this until recently, and it works a treat. Let me explain how to use this feature.

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